"The Tether Untied" is the sixth album independently released by Saint Paul, MN artist Jay Walters. This collection of songs features aggressive songwriting and performance. Ripping through the opening "I'm Still Here", Walters captures the fervor and desperation of "Armed Forces"-era Elvis Costello. For a lyrical high-point and British pop sing-ability, check out the mathematically romantic "X Equals Now". It is not all rock and roll on this record; for biting yet beautiful looks at aging and death, "Vital Signs" and "Balloon" are intriguing and haunting. The album's closer is, of course, a six-minute sing-along featuring ukulele, accordion and trombone called "Rigor Mortis". It, along with "The Small Deaths" take a cynical approach to the process of life (and what it takes from you). Every track on "The Tether Untied" will make you instantly want to re-start and take a second spin. It has become increasingly rare for lyrics to so richly reward repeated listening. What you get here are songs in the best spirit of Lennon, Costello and Michael Penn; great hooks, complete lyrics and complex thoughts. Don't pass this one by; it might be Jay's best ever!!
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